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Thread started 30 Dec 2007 (Sunday) 23:07
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I need computer advice.

 
Skip ­ Souza
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Dec 30, 2007 23:07 |  #1

My beloved computer had croaked. It was the fastest, badass 32bit computer in it's day......... which was 5 1/2 years ago and lasted about six weeks until the 64bit architecture hit the scene. Oh well it was nice to be on top for even a little while and a long way from a Packard Bell 286 :lol:

In any event both myself and a local shop came to the conclusion that it is probably the mobo that has failed. Since the mobo is not directly replaceable it is time for a new one. I am still in business having moved the data hdd to a nearly identical sister computer that used to be Maureen's but was replace when it started acting strangely (thought I had traced it down to a driver problem but it is acting up again.

I am undecided between building my own or having another one built for me probably by Ibuypower. (external link) It looks like I could save $300-$400 building it myself but don't know if the aggravation is worth it.

Either way, here is what I'm looking at. [URL="javascript:WishL​istUpdate('[URL]https:​//secure.newegg.com/Ne​wVersion/','11-146-015','HISTORY');"]Update [URL="http://[URL]www.​newegg.com/product/pro​duct.asp?item=N82E1681​1146015"]NZXT TRINITY BLK Black/Silver SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 400 WATT PS2 ATX12V Power Supply - Retail Model #: TRINITY BLKItem #: N82E16811146015Return Policy: [URL="http://[URL]www.​newegg.com/CustomerSer​vice/ReturnPolicy.asp#​1"]Standard Return Policy In Stock $79.99 $79.99 [URL="javascript:WishL​istUpdate('[URL]https:​//secure.newegg.com/Ne​wVersion/','13-131-013','HISTORY');"]Update [URL="http://[URL]www.​newegg.com/product/pro​duct.asp?item=N82E1681​3131013"]ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail Model #: M2N-SLI DeluxeItem #: N82E16813131013Return Policy: [URL="http://[URL]www.​newegg.com/CustomerSer​vice/ReturnPolicy.asp#​2"]Limited 30-Day Return Policy In Stock $134.99 -$5.00 Instant $129.99 [URL="javascript:WishL​istUpdate('[URL]https:​//secure.newegg.com/Ne​wVersion/','14-127-293','HISTORY');"]Update [URL="http://[URL]www.​newegg.com/product/pro​duct.asp?item=N82E1681​4127293"]MSI NX8600GT-T2D256EZ GeForce 8600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Supported Video Card - Retail Model #: NX8600GT-T2D256EZItem #: N82E16814127293Return Policy: [URL="http://[URL]www.​newegg.com/CustomerSer​vice/ReturnPolicy.asp#​2"]Limited 30-Day Return Policy In Stock [URL="http://images10.​newegg.com/UploadFiles​ForNewegg/rebate/SH/MS​I15MIRSDec01Dec3107lt1​2.pdf"]Mail-in Rebate $98.99 $98.99 [URL="javascript:WishL​istUpdate('[URL]https:​//secure.newegg.com/Ne​wVersion/','19-103-771','HISTORY');"]Update [URL="http://[URL]www.​newegg.com/product/pro​duct.asp?item=N82E1681​9103771"]AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ Windsor 2.8GHz Socket AM2 89W Dual-Core Processor Model ADA5600CZBOX - Retail Model #: ADA5600CZBOXItem #: N82E16819103771Return Policy: [URL="http://[URL]www.​newegg.com/CustomerSer​vice/ReturnPolicy.asp#​5"]Processors (CPUs) Return Policy In Stock $139.99 $139.99 [URL="javascript:WishL​istUpdate('[URL]https:​//secure.newegg.com/Ne​wVersion/','20-227-267','HISTORY');"]Update [URL="http://[URL]www.​newegg.com/product/pro​duct.asp?item=N82E1682​0227267"]OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2RPR800C44GK - Retail Model #: OCZ2RPR800C44GKItem #: N82E16820227267Return Policy: [URL="http://[URL]www.​newegg.com/CustomerSer​vice/ReturnPolicy.asp#​22"]Memory (Modules, USB) Return Policy In Stock [URL="http://images10.​newegg.com/UploadFiles​ForNewegg/rebate/SH/OC​Z18MIRsDec22Dec3107jh2​8.pdf"]Mail-in Rebate $115.99 $115.99 [URL="javascript:WishL​istUpdate('[URL]https:​//secure.newegg.com/Ne​wVersion/','22-136-075','HISTORY');"]Update [URL="http://[URL]www.​newegg.com/product/pro​duct.asp?item=N82E1682​2136075"]Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600AAJS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM Model #: WD1600AAJSItem #: N82E16822136075Return Policy: [URL="http://[URL]www.​newegg.com/CustomerSer​vice/ReturnPolicy.asp#​2"]Limited 30-Day Return Policy In Stock $49.99 $49.99 [URL="javascript:WishL​istUpdate('[URL]https:​//secure.newegg.com/Ne​wVersion/','22-136-178','HISTORY');"]Update [URL="http://[URL]www.​newegg.com/product/pro​duct.asp?item=N82E1682​2136178"]Western Digital Caviar SE WD5000AAJS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM Model #: WD5000AAJSItem #: N82E16822136178Return Policy: [URL="http://[URL]www.​newegg.com/CustomerSer​vice/ReturnPolicy.asp#​2"]Limited 30-Day Return Policy In Stock $99.99 -$5.00 Instant $94.99 [URL="javascript:WishL​istUpdate('[URL]https:​//secure.newegg.com/Ne​wVersion/','27-129-018','HISTORY');"]Update [URL="http://[URL]www.​newegg.com/product/pro​duct.asp?item=N82E1682​7129018"]Pioneer 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model DVR-115DBK - OEM Model #: DVR-115DBKItem #: N82E16827129018Return Policy: [URL="http://[URL]www.​newegg.com/CustomerSer​vice/ReturnPolicy.asp#​1"]Standard Return Policy In Stock $29.99 $29.99 [URL="javascript:WishL​istUpdate('[URL]https:​//secure.newegg.com/Ne​wVersion/','32-102-361','HISTORY');"]Update [URL="http://[URL]www.​newegg.com/product/pro​duct.asp?item=N82E1683​2102361"]Microsoft Works Suite 2006 - OEM Model #: B11-01258Item #: N82E16832102361Return Policy: [URL="http://[URL]www.​newegg.com/CustomerSer​vice/ReturnPolicy.asp#​9"]Software Return Policy In Stock $69.99 $69.99 [URL="javascript:WishL​istUpdate('[URL]https:​//secure.newegg.com/Ne​wVersion/','32-116-400','HISTORY');"]Update [URL="http://[URL]www.​newegg.com/product/pro​duct.asp?item=N82E1683​2116400"]Microsoft Windows XP Professional With SP2C - OEM Model #: E85-05040Item #: N82E16832116400Return Policy: [URL="http://[URL]www.​newegg.com/CustomerSer​vice/ReturnPolicy.asp#​9"]Software Return Policy In Stock $139.99 $139.99 [URL="javascript:WishL​istUpdate('[URL]https:​//secure.newegg.com/Ne​wVersion/','35-103-035','HISTORY');"]Update [URL="http://[URL]www.​newegg.com/product/pro​duct.asp?item=N82E1683​5103035"]COOLER MASTER Y720DCD-25T1-GP 120mm Blue LED Case Fan - Retail Model #: Y720DCD-25T1-GPItem #: N82E16835103035 (external link)I am partial to amd, Asus, and Western Digital. I am not ready for Vista.
I guess my biggest question is with the video card. I have become fond of dual displays so should I go with dual video cards or will the one be sufficient. I'm sure that I can only calibrate one monitor with only one card.

Within these parameters, what do you think?


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tim
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Dec 30, 2007 23:48 |  #2

Personally i'd go with Intel quad core and a low to mid range nVidia card with the type of outputs you like. If you go to vista later get a faster card, in XP it's unnecessary unless you play lots of 3D games. I also get Kington value ram, fast ram is really just for overclocking.


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GTriever
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Dec 31, 2007 04:01 |  #3

I just did a similar build using the MSI K9N4 F-SLI board; you'll like that AMD processor. To save a few bucks, the A-Data RAM is excellent as well. I stuffed 8GB of it on the board and running XP Pro x64 it's a real beast.


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Jon
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Dec 31, 2007 07:35 |  #4

I'd suggest an Antec case and power supply. They tend to be rock-solid performers, and power supply glitches are the hidden killer - probably more "software" problems are due to power supplies than any other component except possibly memory. In the same vein, consider paying more for the Crucial 4 GB kit (direct from Crucial). It's never let me down.


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PERSONAL MESSAGING REGARDING SELLING OR BUYING ITEMS WITH MEMBERS WHO HAVE NO POSTS IN FORUMS AND/OR WHO YOU DO NOT KNOW FROM FORUMS IS HEREBY DECLARED STRICTLY STUPID AND YOU WILL GET BURNED.
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ChasP505
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Dec 31, 2007 08:00 as a reply to  @ Jon's post |  #5

No problem with your selection or any of the posters' recommendations, but make your main drive a 10,000 rpm SATA unit and use a 600 watt power supply. I also personally prefer Antec cases. Take a look at the Antec Nine Hundred model.

Your video card may be overkill for a photo editing PC, but if you play games or 3D activities, it's fine. (I am using a 7600GT).


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Samanax
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Dec 31, 2007 13:27 |  #6

I've been building computers for the last 10 years and building a computer isn't that hard to do...the hard part is picking out the right components that will build into a computer that will do what you need it to do. Unfortunately I currently only build Intel based computers and haven't kept up with the AMD side of things.

For the most part your list of components looks okay, but you don't want to use the power supply that comes in that NZXT case. The power supply is actually the most important thing in the computer and it's not something to skimp on. Unfortunately most power supplies that already come with the case are very cheap, low quality units that can cause all kinds of weird problems...the worst thing about them is they don't have built in over-voltage protection and when they die they sometimes send a big surge to the rest of the computer and parts get fried. The case itself is probably okay but you'll want to get a good quality power supply separately. My recommendations would be Corsair, Fortron Source, PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic or Sparkle Power.

Unless you're going to be gaming with this computer you might want to get a ATi based video card instead. They've historically had better 2D performance and image quality than NVidia based video cards. Maybe a X1650 with 256 or 512MB from Sapphire...these generally go for under $60.

For RAM you do need DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) RAM for a Athlon X2 AM2 based computer but I would get Corsair Value Select RAM instead. Cheap and it works. And if you're going to use 4GB of RAM you need a 64 bit operating system instead of a 32 bit one...a 32 bit OS will only "see" and use about 3.2 to 3.5GB so the rest of the memory will be wasted.

I prefer to use Seagate hard drives...I used to install Western Digital hard drives in the computers I built but after a rash of failures with their SE series (about 12 hard drives died within the first 2 years) I switched to Seagate about 3 years ago and haven't had one fail yet.

I checked Tom's Hardware Guide and saw that the Athlon X2 5600+ does pretty well against the Intel C2D and C2Q processors...good choice.

Hope this helped.

:) Samanax


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Phiberglass
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Dec 31, 2007 13:44 |  #7

Get a powermac or imac :) If your mobile MacBook Pro!!


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PeteJaffa
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Dec 31, 2007 13:49 |  #8

It's a great processor.

Athlon X2 5600+


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Skip ­ Souza
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Dec 31, 2007 13:50 |  #9

Thanks for responding guys.

I have about decided to fore go the aggravation nd have it built by Ibuypower. They have built four for me in the past and I have been pretty pleased.

Tim, I know that Intel is currently ahead of the performance game but it is kinda like PC v. Mac for me, a personal choice with religious undertones :lol: My last 8 PCs have been AMD and have all performed admirably (including the laptop I left on the bus between Heathrow and Gatwick :-().

GTriever, I looked into moving to a 64 bit OS but there are no drivers for my printer or scanner and I am not about to replace them any time soon so 32 bit it is along with the the 4GB ram restriction. Oh well. That is why I plan to go with 2x2GB so I have room to add another 4GB later.

Jon, I really like Maureen's NZXT Trinity case (case envy?) but the power supply does concern me. Hers has been good so far, I think.
Here are my upgrade choices at Ibuypower:
Standard Case Power Supply
500 Watt -- NZXT PF-500 Power Supply [+ $49]
550 Watt -- Power Supply [+ $55]
600 Watt -- Power Supply SLI Ready [+ $64]
620 Watt -- Enermax Liberty DXX Power Supply SLI Ready [+ $135]
650 Watt -- NZXT PRC-650 Power Supply SLI Ready [+ $99]
720 Watt -- Enermax Infiniti 720 Power Supply SLI Ready [+ $185]
[$40 OFF Mail-In Rebate] 750 Watt -- Thermaltake Toughpower W0117RU Power Supply Quad SLI Ready [+ $169]
800 Watt -- Power Supply Quad SLI Ready [+ $110]
[$40 OFF Mail-In Rebate] 850 Watt -- Thermaltake Toughpower W0172RU Power Supply Quad SLI Ready [+ $198]
950 Watt -- Tuniq Miniplant Power Supply Quad SLI Ready [+ $219]
[$50 OFF Mail-In Rebate] 1000 Watt -- Thermaltake Toughpower W0155RU Power Supply Quad SLI Ready [+ $253]
1000 Watt -- Ultra X3 Energy Efficient Modular Power Supply Quad SLI Ready [+ $232]
1200 Watt -- NZXT PRC-1200 Power Supply Quad SLI Ready [+ $279]
[$50 OFF Mail-In Rebate] 1200 Watt -- Thermaltake Toughpower W0156RU Power Supply Quad SLI Ready [+ $297]

RAM
My current plan is to get it built with 0nly 512mb of whatever and put in my own RAM. I did that with Maureen's and saved a bundle. That crucial is over twice as much as anything else. I may have to go with something more reasonable.

I guess I could go the same route on the power supply as the RAM, i.e. replace it when it arrives with something better.

Video card:
For some reason the 7600GT with 256mb costs $43 more than the 8400GS with 512mb. What gives here?
Should I have two video cards to continue to run dual monitors? I know that I can run both on one card but then I can only calibrate one of them. If I ever get serious about calibration would I be better off with two cards? I can get it with 2 x 7100GS with turbocache supporting 256mb for only $9 more.

No Chas, my gaming has been confined to Spyder Solitaire and Zuma :-)


Bless the recently fallen and their family and friends.
I have a Cannon with me at all times. You can't take the shot if you don't have something with which to shoot. :rolleyes:
That which does not kill me ~~ Should Run.
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Skip ­ Souza
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Dec 31, 2007 14:10 |  #10

Thanks for posting Samanax. I was typing when you posted. Could you check out the listed power supplies and tel me if any are good and cost effective?

I have always used ATi video cards but have started to hear less than stellar reports, but no, I am not gaming. How about the ATi Radeon 1550 with 256MB?
I know that a 32 bit OS will not address all 4GB but with RAM so cheap, will I suffer any by using 4GB dual channel?

Thanks Pete. The X2 5600+ seems to be the $/performance sweet spot.


Bless the recently fallen and their family and friends.
I have a Cannon with me at all times. You can't take the shot if you don't have something with which to shoot. :rolleyes:
That which does not kill me ~~ Should Run.
5DMkII, 7D, 70-300L IS, 24-105L,
No more PayPal gift payment requests.
"PERSONAL MESSAGING REGARDING SELLING OR BUYING ITEMS WITH MEMBERS WHO HAVE NO POSTS IN FORUMS AND/OR WHO YOU DO NOT KNOW FROM FORUMS IS HEREBY DECLARED STRICTLY STUPID AND YOU WILL GET BURNED."

  
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PeteJaffa
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Dec 31, 2007 14:33 |  #11

I always used to think I won't bother with a great graphics card (not a big gamer anymore) but I got the Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS and it is just a beast.

It handles anything.

That is just me loving PC components far too much.


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PeteJaffa
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Dec 31, 2007 14:44 |  #12

This is aimed at everyone looking at building their own system.

LambdaTek have a mighty fine 'PC Designer' that will only show you what the previous component is capable of operating with.

Very handy and one of the best component shops on the interweb.

http://www.lambda-tek.com/computing/inde​x.htm (external link)


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tim
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Dec 31, 2007 19:55 |  #13

I think you only need one video card. I have an LCD on DVI and a LCD TV on VGA and i;ve calibrated with my Moncao system (they're not being sold any more).


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cgratti
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Dec 31, 2007 23:42 |  #14

...


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Canon 30D

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Skip ­ Souza
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Jan 01, 2008 01:09 |  #15

Sorry, but I'm still ticked off at Wozniak and Jobs. I'll stay with the PC :-)


Bless the recently fallen and their family and friends.
I have a Cannon with me at all times. You can't take the shot if you don't have something with which to shoot. :rolleyes:
That which does not kill me ~~ Should Run.
5DMkII, 7D, 70-300L IS, 24-105L,
No more PayPal gift payment requests.
"PERSONAL MESSAGING REGARDING SELLING OR BUYING ITEMS WITH MEMBERS WHO HAVE NO POSTS IN FORUMS AND/OR WHO YOU DO NOT KNOW FROM FORUMS IS HEREBY DECLARED STRICTLY STUPID AND YOU WILL GET BURNED."

  
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I need computer advice.
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